Ukraine’s former Foreign Affairs Minister on “Guarantors” and Their “Guarantees”

4112-5-2Volodymyr Ohryzko, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2007 – 2009 рр.)

Ukraine, as many are aware of, has given up its nuclear weapons in exchange for guarantees of sovereignty and security, inviolability of its borders, and refraining from use of pressure and force against it.

Did Ukraine fulfill its commitments? Yes, it did. Our state has given up its nuclear weapons.

What about the guarantors?

One of them – Russia – is quite peculiar. It appears that it has an exact opposite understanding of its commitments. It would suffice to recall the island of Tuzla, gas wars, and economic pressure in recent years. By now, it has come as far as to initiate open military aggression.

What do other guarantors of our security do? I mean the United States and Great Britain, as well as France and China. The response is: nothing. They limit themselves to yet another round of “concerns.” However, this does not make it easier for us. Under these circumstances, one of the first steps of the Ukrainian authorities should be a decision to terminate its membership in the Agreement on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as to initiate the process of uranium enrichment in Ukraine. If one party is not complying with its commitments, then the other party is fully entitled to do the same.

As far as the “guarantor”-aggressor is concerned, the Verkhovna Rada must immediately denounce the 1997 Agreement (so-called Grand Agreement), the 1997 and 2010 agreements on the location of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine territory, as well as all agreements concerning the transit of gas across Ukraine’s territory. It goes without saying that Ukraine must also sever all diplomatic relations with Russia.

Unfortunately, the struggle for Ukraine’s freedom and independence is not over yet.

The only thing still capable of restraining the situation from declining into a full-fledged war would be the announcement by the United States of America, the Great Britain, France, and, perhaps, other NATO member states that they are ready to use military force in response to the introduction of Russian troops into Ukraine.



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